Thursday, February 15, 2018

Can’t Decide on Buying a New Truck Or a New Toy?—The Newest Jeep Wrangler IS BOTH!

By Nick Smirnis

It’s been ten years since the Jeep introduced the Wrangler JK, so it is a somewhat momentous occasion to see the words “new” and “Wrangler” next to each other. But the new Wrangler JL is here and I had the opportunity to drive it in Marana, Arizona.

 Normally, vehicles enter a period of nonproduction, then receive a major update followed by two or three “face lifts” throughout their production cycle. But the Wrangler is no normal vehicle. No other vehicle has higher demands from after-market modifiers or more legacy to live up to, and nothing else out there seems to suffer the same scrutiny when it’s time for a new generationAs such, I won’t refer to the Wrangler JL as the 2018 Jeep Wrangler, since the vehicle sits well outside many conventions of the automotive industry. Most of the changes discussed here will remain true to the Wrangler for the foreseeable future.

A Truck For Everyone

For Texas Only:  The Ram 1500 Lone Star nameplate returns for 2019.

Look and You Shall Find It!

We heard a Ram Trucks executive refer to the new engineers behind the scenes designing and building the newest half ton pick-ups as “paradigm pioneers.”   Ram engineers have done a superb job at anticipating the wants and needs of half-ton pickup drivers.  That has paid off handsomely for Ram, establishing it as a true contender in an arena that has long been dominated by Ford and General Motors.  Industry experts say that after separating the truck division from the Chrysler Dodge nameplate in 2009, Ram has carved out its role as a leader by breaking the mold of what a truck should offer and proven that people are willing to pay more for their truck purchases, too.

Monday, February 5, 2018

Let’s Talk Tech: Automotive Technology Advancements

New cars connect your phone by Bluetooth simply by tapping them on the dashboard.  Keys are a thing of the past--just start the car using your cell phone.  Keep the phone charged on your vehicle’s wireless charging pad.  Besides the back-up and 360-degree camera, cameras can check the kids in the back or watch what happens after the valet attendant takes your vehicle.  Use Amazon Alexa to connect to your smart home to program the thermostat or turn on the lights.  Set adaptive cruise control to do the work for you in stop/start rush hour traffic.  Ride safe with active steering systems that go beyond lane keep assist and collision alert, actually steering you around potential collisions.  These technologies are not futuristic predictions; they’re already here.  

STOP! Be Sure to Shop These Affordable Alternatives First

If you’re on the hunt for a Sports Coupe, the Subaru BRZ with rear-wheel drive offers seating for four, is available in three trim levels, comes with either a manual or automatic transmission, and gets power from its 2.0-liter Boxer four-cylinder engine. Its critics say that it’s not going to win so many road races, but the BRZ’s sharp handling and easy-to-drive nature still put it in the fun-to-drive category even among the purists.  A Performance Package available on our manual transmission test model added $1,195 onto the cost of our Limited trim level BRZ, outfitting it with larger brake rotors,  Brembo four-piston front and dual-piston rear calipers, Sachs dampers and 17-inch alloy wheels. All this, and the price tag was still under $30K.  If there’s room left in the budget, you might investigate the limited-edition BRZ tS  with STI-tuned shocks and springs, flexible V-braces within the engine compartment, improved steering response,  Brembo performance brakes, and lightweight 18-inch wheels with 215/40 performance tires.

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Snow, Mud or Gravel, Climbing or Wading...These Gripping Vehicles Deliver Both Style and Traction

An Automotive Year in Review

2018 started months ago in the automotive world.  So let’s look back at the introductions, trends and standouts.

2018 is the Year of the SRT Hellcat

By Nick Smirnis

Sometimes people look for a new vehicle to buy for fun. Sometimes you need a new vehicle because your lease is up or you’re concerned about your car or truck ending its warranty period. But other times, there comes a vehicle that already knows its owner, as if awakening a long-forgotten desire.